Dentists can fit crowns made from a range of materials, including titanium, gold, ceramic or zirconia. Take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type of dental crown so you can decide which one is the best option for you.
Titanium is a strong metal that resists corrosion and is safe for use inside the body. Titanium crowns are extremely durable, but many people don't like them because their dark grey colour looks nothing like a natural tooth, which is why not many dentists offer them today.
Gold is another type of metal that is suitable for dental crowns due to its resistance to corrosion and non-reactivity with human tissue. Gold dental crowns are not made of pure gold, which would be very expensive; instead, gold crowns are made from an alloy of gold and other metals. Gold crowns have been used for many decades and some people like the way they look, whereas others prefer a crown that more closely resembles a natural tooth.
Ceramic crowns look very similar to natural teeth — so similar that few people can tell the difference with a casual glance. Dentists use ceramic to make veneers and implants, so if you already have dental restoration work in your mouth, opt for a ceramic crown to maintain a consistent appearance. The problem with ceramic is that it can be quite brittle. Ceramic crowns can crack; you may need to visit a dentist to have the crowned repaired or replaced.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns have been very commonly used in dentistry for many years. They offer a compromise between the durability of metal and the tooth-like appearance of ceramic. Although PFM crowns are tooth-coloured, they often lack the shiny pearlescence of ceramic crowns and natural teeth, which means that they can appear dull in comparison to your other teeth.
Zirconia is a relatively new material in the production of dental crowns. It's a type of ceramic that is much stronger and less brittle than traditional forms of this material. Zirconia is generally regarded among dentists as the top-class material for repairing molars, which must stand up to strong chewing forces without wearing down. It is also a good option for front teeth, although it can appear slightly duller than a natural tooth. However, dentists can combine a zirconia crown with a ceramic coating to create a more natural appearance.